Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tron: Legacy (2010)

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
The original Tron pioneered rendered 3D vector graphics and the virtual world immersion on the big screen, so much ought to be expected of any successor's visuals and script. Thankfully, Tron: Legacy stays clear of rehashing, and takes the sequel route instead.

The story is actually surprisingly good. Sure, there's the "mystery meat" science that makes use of techie buzzwords and codespeak to effect plot devices and quantum-leap over minor technological hurdles (like taking a human being of flesh and bone and transforming him into a computer game character and back). But aside from that, Legacy's writers pulled a few twists that caught even a seasoned trope-prescient like me by surprise (including a reverse Empire Strikes Back moment).

Years after the events of Tron, Kevin Flynn is working on something revolutionary when he suddenly disappears, leaving behind a young son, Sam. In his late twenties, Sam receives the keys to his fathers arcade/office from the author of the original Tron program and gets digimatizified, or something like that, when he activates the feature accidentally. Now a part of the computer system, he has to fight his way back out against lethal games and malicious programs.

Visually, the film is stunning. The CG clones of Jeff Bridges are almost completely convincing, and he himself puts in some good acting for this one. Besides, the black body suits are much better than the white ones in the prequel film, and the costumes are overall a definite improvement. The vehicles, from massive recognizers to gleaming light cycles to grand carrier vessels, are vast technological and design improvements, whilst retaining enough similarities to the originals to serve as worthy homages for the nostalgic (new ones were thrown in by the designers too). Speaking of nostalgia, there is the occasional 80s music score, but the background music is a huge improvement over its over-dramatic counterpart in the first film. Daft Punk, yeah.

Try seeing Tron beforehand, if you haven't - it really won't spoil anything anyway. But do see this - it has a great combination of homages for the fans of its predecessor, and new cutting edge designs to appeal to those with more modern tastes.

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